Cardiff Central bus station in April 2009
|Location||Cardiff Central Bus Station|
|Owned by||City of Cardiff Council|
|Connections||Cardiff Central railway station|
|Opening||Re-opening Spring 2023|
|Closed||1 August 2015|
Cardiff Central bus station was the main bus transport interchange in the Cardiff city centre until it closed on 1 August 2015. With 34 stands, it was the largest bus station in Wales. It was located adjacent to Cardiff Central railway station forming a major interchange. Construction of a new bus station on the site of the former NCP multi-storey car park in Wood Street adjacent to the old bus station is due to begin early in 2018 with an expected date of completion in Spring 2023.
The station used to handle the vast majority of bus and coach services that run in and through the city. Notable exceptions were Megabus services (which called at Kingsway and Cardiff University),Stagecoach South Wales route 122 (which called at Greyfriars Road) and EST route 89 (which used Customhouse Street).
The site of Cardiff's bus station had previously been an area of housing and shops known as Temperance Town. However, demolition of Temperance Town commenced in 1937 after the Great Western Railway persuaded the Cardiff Corporation to improve the view from their new railway station. The Central bus station opened in 1954.
Demolition of the bus station began in 2008 with the terminus building being demolished. Before work began, there were eight concourses lettered A-F and W with each concourse having numbered stands.
Redevelopment of the bus station began in 2008. Demolition of the old terminal buildings (between stand A and Wood Street stands) started on 11 January 2008, with buses instead picking up at Castle Street and Westgate Street. On 6 May 2008, Stand A at the bus station closed for demolition of the terminal buildings. As of 4 January 2009, some services reverted to using the bus station, whilst others remained split between the alternative terminal points.
A multimillion-pound modernisation of Cardiff central bus station was announced in December 2010, with three options for public consultation. In December 2011 the council announced that the existing bus station would close in early 2013 and the new bus station would be built on the site of the neighbouring Wood Street Car Park. The new bus station would open in mid-2014, and provide 19 bays and have direct access to Westgate Street and St Mary Street via Saunders Road. A further announcement was made in January 2012, that negotiations were underway to sell off the existing bus station land to two major companies, who would build a 12-storey headquarters on the site. Part of the proceeds from the sale would be put towards redesign and redevelopment of Central Square, which would be renamed Capital Square. These plans were put in doubt after the May 2012 council election.
In October 2014 a new masterplan was revealed for the area, produced by architects Foster + Partners. BBC Cymru Wales earmarked the bus station as the site for its new headquarters. Proposals for a replacement bus station were to be put to the Cardiff Council later in 2014. In June 2015 Foster + Partners were chosen as the preferred architects and images were revealed of the new bus station, which would be completed by mid-2018. The final part of the bus station closed on 1 August 2015. Construction of the new Cardiff Central bus station is now due to begin early in 2018, after an agreement was made between Rightacres, the developer of the site, and the Welsh Government. The plans, which were approved by Cardiff Council's cabinet on 20 December 2017, will include both offices and residential apartments built along with the bus station. The plans still need planning approval for some elements of the plan. The new bus station was described as due to open in 2020.
In July 2019 Cardiff Council announced they had signed contracts with developer Rightacres and funder Legal and General to re-open the bus station on its new site. The project is now expected to be completed in Spring 2023.
Toilets and a newsagent were located at stand A which was demolished in mid-2008 as part of the redevelopment of the station. However, these services are available in the adjacent Cardiff Central railway station.